Canadian oil sands emissions hold steady as production rises

Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg August 09, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Canadian oil sands producers logged a win last year: Emissions held steady even as production increased.

It’s the first time emissions haven’t climbed absent a major market disruption and decline in output, S&P Global Commodity Insights said, citing its records going back to 2009.

“That emissions held steady even as production grew is a significant first,” said Kevin Birn, the group’s Chief Analyst for Canadian oil markets.

Absolute emissions remained flat at 81 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, while total oil sands production rose by more than 50,000 bpd to 3.1 MMbpd, S&P said. Emissions levels held as output from more efficient sites increased. Since 2009, the average emissions intensity of oil sands production has dropped by 23%.

Further improvements are expected in the years ahead, though Birn warned last fall the sector’s emissions could get worse before getting better.

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